Things to Do: MUJI and Japanese Design

19muji-hodge-tmagArticleIf you're curious about product design, such as the work of Apple or Braun, you need to check out Muji, one of Japan's best-known shops. 

It's a company that carries itself with a very specific purpose, but it's hard to describe succinctly. Muji's mission is maybe best described as a philosophy that shuns lust and focuses on honesty and durability in products.

If you're in Tokyo, you can learn more about that philosophy at Found Muji, a new combination gallery/store that brings in things from around the world that inspire what Muji makes:

Housed in the Aoyama-area retail space where Muji’s first stand-alone store opened in 1983, Found Muji takes the company back to its roots.

Found Muji goes back to the source, showcasing traditional, vernacular and often handmade housewares and decorative objects that have inspired a multitude of Muji products, like metal bowls used for curry in India, Celadon pottery from Thailand, enamelware from France or feather dusters from Germany. Part gallery and part retail space, Found Muji reveals the origins of new Muji products, and highlights simple, useful wares from different cultures around the world. 

Found Muji is in Jingumae, Shibuya. It's between the Meijijingumae and Omotesando stations on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. Check the location in Google Maps.

via New York Times Magazine

Read More About Muji

Muji's book about itself is the only way to understand the company's philosophy (unless you get to visit the New York store). Like a Muji product should be, it's beautiful in its simplicity. Grab a copy for your coffee table now from the Konnichiwhoa Travel Shop. 

The book review from is right on the mark:

Essays from designer Jasper Morrison and John C. Jay bring the growth of the brand into firm perspective. They write gracefully, but without the back patting celebration one might expect. They are, like the brand itself, matter of fact. Their tone is reflective of the publication as a whole – one that honestly presents three decades of advertising, product, and unique retail space."